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Ravens and Forsett mutually part ways

By: Myles Nelson

No longer with the explosiveness he once had along with the emergence of Terrance West and return of Kenneth Dixon, there was no future for Justin Forsett with the Ravens.

No longer with the explosiveness he once had along with the emergence of Terrance West and return of Kenneth Dixon, there was no future for Justin Forsett with the Ravens.

When the Ravens cut running back Justin Forsett back in September, it shocked a lot of people. Some were concerned about the loss of veteran leadership in the locker room. Others were happy that the Ravens were seemingly getting younger at the running back position. Just two days after being cut, Forsett was re-signed and began the season as the starting running back.

After just four games, the Ravens admitted that cutting him was indeed the right move and released him again on Tuesday following the team’s 28-27 loss to the Oakland Raiders.

Maybe Father Time finally caught up to the 30-year-old Forsett as he simply been ineffective. He no longer showed the ability to make people miss, and his quickness in the open field was done. Meanwhile, Terrance West has been quick, and displayed the ability to run through tackles. West performed well at crucial times for the Ravens, helping them close out games against the Bills and the Browns. He picked up late first downs with powerful runs that allowed the Ravens to keep the clock running.

Against the Raiders, West finally got the chance to start while Forsett switched places with the previously inactive Buck Allen. West rushed for 113 yards and a touchdown on 21 attempts. Allen also contributed 28 total yards on two rushes and two receptions. Besides and ugly fumble that was luckily recovered by the Ravens, West looked great in the lead back role. Allen isn’t a very good runner between the tackles, but with his speed and ability to make people miss, he has big play ability as a receiver out of the backfield. He could be very effective in a Shane Vereen type of role.

However, West’s big game against Oakland most likely isn’t the end of the running back drama in Baltimore. Week five is scheduled to be the return of rookie running back Kenneth Dixon. Dixon isn’t just a rookie running back entering the league as a fourth round draft pick. He held the NCAA record for all-time career touchdowns. You don’t get a record like that without being a home run threat. It’s been reported that Dixon will be eased back into action, but one long touchdown run could potentially end West’s reign alone at the top of the depth chart. The eye test suggests that Dixon has the power of West, combined with the hands and elusiveness of Allen.

It’s most likely that the lead back role will eventually come down to West and Dixon. If Dixon is indeed the explosive player that he appeared to be in the preseason, then the job will be his without a doubt. If not, West may keep it. Either way, the Ravens are turning towards the future at the position. A future that does not include Forsett.

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